"It came as a surprise at first", admitted 48-year-old station program manager Kim, "but wanting to be part of a communally shared experience is something Korean people are deeply driven towards. Our research found that while our viewers think they are watching for the entertainment, it's actually the screaming from unseen audience members that really provides the interaction they need as they scream along at home."
Now Kim is pioneering a new show that dispenses with the performers and instead features an hour of continuous screaming. "It gives our viewers more of what they are subconsciously craving" he said. The show has already proven popular with some people confessing that they hadn't noticed the removal of the performers. However, rival channel MBC has struck back at KBS with the launch of a program shot entirely from the front of a roller coaster, which the channel claims features more authentic screams and 'genuine peril'. As 3D TV sales increase in Korea, 'Roller Coaster Hour' is expected to prove an even bigger hit, but we understand that KBS is already considering the launch of an entire channel featuring roller coasters and screaming from around the world to counter this.
Media watchers are skeptical of the KBS plan. Foreign screaming is believed to be inferior to the genuine screaming found in Korea.